Guide to Canary Islands Accident and Illness Claims

The Canaries are currently experiencing a boom in visitors, having been a popular destination for British tourists for years. Unfortunately an influx of visitors can spell disaster at resorts that aren't prepared for the number of package holiday goers looking to enjoy the Spanish islands. As more illness outbreaks and accidents happen every year, it's never been more important to arm yourself with the knowledge that you need to stay safe on holiday.

In this guide we'll highlight some of the bad practices that could happen in the Canaries, what you can do to avoid a holiday illness or injury, and advice on making a claim if you've had a holiday nightmare.

About the Canaries

The Canary Islands can be found just off the coast of Morocco and boast a rich history, along with a very favourable warm climate throughout the year with temperatures rarely dipping below 15 °C and reaching up to around 30 °C.

The main Canary Islands include:

  • Tenerife
  • Fuerteventura
  • Gran Canaria
  • Lanzarote
  • La Palma
  • La Gomera
  • El Hierro

Several tour operators offer package holidays to these popular destinations; there are many different resorts to choose from, but not all of the resorts that they advertise practice good hygiene and maintain the high standards necessary to prevent illness outbreaks and accidents from occurring.

Illness in the Canaries

An illness can spell disaster for a holiday that you've worked hard for, and more often than not an infection abroad is caused by poor hygiene standards and could have been prevented. An outbreak of Campylobacter, Shigella or Salmonella can easily occur if the staff at your resort aren't vigilant.

We find that the most common causes for infections such as food poisoning at resorts found at the Canary Islands include the following:

Food Preparation Mistakes

  • Undercooked food
  • Buffet food left uncovered
  • Food left to reach unsafe temperatures
  • Reheated food

Hygiene Mistakes

  • Unclean serving utensils
  • Dining and serving areas accessible by wildlife
  • Staff not washing hands
  • Disinfectants not used when cleaning
  • Irregular cleaning routines

Is the Water Drinkable in the Canary Islands?

There are parts of the Canary Islands where the tap water is theoretically potable, meaning that it is safe to drink untreated, as it is usually chlorinated and drunk by the locals, but there is a known problem in some areas with E-coli in the water supply, so it’s safest to avoid it.

It's usually best practice to find out from your tour operator if the water is safe to drink wherever you travel, but in the event that you're unsure it's best to play it safe. Avoid tap water, ice cubes in drinks, and water offered in communal jugs or at fountains. If possible, try to drink only from sealed bottles of water.

Swimming Pool Illnesses

Swimming pools are only safe when they're used responsibly and regular maintenance is carried out, including the use of disinfectants. In the Canaries it's important to make sure that the swimming pool at your resort is chlorinated, as chlorine acts as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and parasites that can lead to a holiday ruining illness.

Chlorine has a unique smell, and if you can't smell it; it's likely not present.

Cryptosporidium can easily spread in pools that aren't properly maintained and lead to profuse diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain including stomach cramps, and related health complications such as loss of weight and dehydration. Cryptosporidium can take between 2 days and 2 weeks before you start to show symptoms, which can last for between 2 and 6 weeks, meaning that you might not just miss out on your holiday in the Canaries, but be unable to return to work when you get home.

What to Do if You Become Ill

In the event that you become ill make sure to advise your resort staff and your tour operator so that they can take the necessary steps to help you and prevent any further spread of infection. Make sure that you keep a record of everything that has happened to you before and during your illness, as this information is essential for making a claim when you get back to the UK.

Accidents in the Canaries

An accident while abroad can be a nightmare and ruin your time on holiday. Unfortunately not all foreign destinations are maintained to the same standards that we expect in the UK, meaning that some areas of your resort may have become unsafe.

Common areas where holiday accidents occur include the following:

If you have experienced an accident that wasn't your fault and sustained an injury that meant that you were unable to enjoy your holiday, you may be able to claim compensation.

We can handle your claim to ensure that you receive the compensation that you're entitled to, with many of our claims covering the following criteria:

  • Medical expenses
  • Transport costs
  • Loss of holiday enjoyment
  • Loss of earnings
  • Pain and suffering

Making a 'No Win No Fee' Claim

It only takes our travel law specialists a few minutes to assess your case and advise you if you're able to make a claim. We're able to take on all cases on a 'no win no fee' basis, meaning that we won't charge you for our services unless we win an award.

If you've had an injury or become ill due a stay at any of the following Canary Islands resort locations, contact us to see if you can make a claim:

Tenerife
  • Costa Adeje
  • Guia de Isora
  • Playa de las Americas
  • Los Gigantes
  • Los Cristianos
Fuerteventura
  • Corralejo
  • Costa Caleta
  • Jandia
  • Costa Calma
  • Barcelo Corralejo Bay
Gran Canaria
  • Amadores
  • Maspalomas
  • Meloneras
  • Playa del Ingles
  • Playa Taurito
Lanzarote
  • Costa Teguise
  • Playa Blanca
  • Playa de los Pocillos
  • Puerto Calero
  • Matagorda
La Palma
  • El Paso
  • Las Manchas
  • Los Cancajos
  • Puerto Naos
  • Todoque
La Gomera
  • Playa de Santiago
  • Valle Gran Rey
  • San Sebastian
  • Charco Del Conde
  • El Paso Hotel Suite
El Hierro
  • Hotel Ida Ines
  • Parador Hotel El Hierro
  • Balneario Pozo de la Salud
  • Hotel Villa El Mocanal
  • La Brujita

Find out More

Our specialist Travel Law solicitors can provide you with free no-obligation advice on whether you can claim compensation for your ruined holiday in the Canary Islands. It only takes a few minutes to start processing a claim today, so complete our enquiry form and we will call you back or call a member of the team on 0808 145 1353.


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Nick Harris - Head of International Travel Law - Manchester

Nick Harris
Head of Holiday Travel Claims (Consumer)

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